Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Amazing Race 21: Episode 2: The Iceman Cometh

Whoever is editing the Amazing Race this season has been taking too making speed pills. This week's episode didn't have that much action, but it had more cuts than a Martin Scorsese film. We begin in Shaghai and the contestants learn their next leg is in Surabaya, Indonesia. That's the city in the song "Surabaya Johnny" by Kurt Weill which Lotte Lenya and Bette Midler immortalized. ("I was young, I was just 16 then/When you come up from Burma one day....You've got no heart, Johnny/But oh I love you so much"). Everyone but the Monster Trucker couple gets on the same flight. While they giggle over their supposed coup of landing an earlier flight, we learn that the wife was the widow of the best friend of the greenbearded guy.

The earlier flight turns out to be a mistake for Mr. and Mrs. Monster. The four-hour layover in Hong Kong puts them behind everybody else (The Hong Kong airport isn't so bad and the landing is spectacular because you come in right off the water.) When they finally get to the first clue, they are dead last. The gates to the event don't open until the next morning. Unlike with most overnight challenges, the teams have to chose numbers instead of racing to the gate. The task turns out to be racing bulls on a motorcycle. You don't even have to beat the bulls to get the clue, just finish without breaking your neck.

Here's where the speed freak editing comes in. We only see some of the teams perform this challenge. The production team evidently decided to concentrate on only a few contestants. We don't even get to see my favorites--Josh and Brent, the gay goat farmers who I met at the Hudson Farmers' Market (see yesterday's blog). One minute they were waiting for their turn at the bull race, joking about being on a diet so they go faster and the next minute they're at the next clue.

Anyway, Team Rock pulls ahead, but get lost along with Amy and Daniel who gave away the pitstop clue last week and the chance for $2million, Mr. and Mrs. Monster, the Barbies (there's always some Barbies on every season), and Mutt and Jeff. The Chippendales, the Sri Lankan Twins, the Texas team, Team World Domination, and Josh and Brent get to the next task first--operate a kiddie ride while blowing up balloons and twisting them into animals and hats.

Everyone flies through the event and Brent astutely observes, "The gays know how to make balloons." But Mutt and Jeff get stuck. Fortunately, Team World Domination falls behind (I want Amy and Daniel to catch up because of their mistake last week.) This time the first-place prize is the EZ Pass or whatever it's called when you can skip a task and go straight to the pitstop.

The next task is a roadblock--either haul ice or arrange fish. The twins beat the Texans, who are their best friends all of a sudden.The Chippendales and Team World Domination are next but we never get to see the guys with their shirts off. Josh and Brent are fifth which is a great improvement from last week's seventh place. Again one minute the Beekman Boys were reading the clue, the next they were at the finish line. I bet they would be good at hauling ice since they have do all those chores on the farm.

The episode ended sadly with Amy and Daniel coming in last all because they had the bad luck of getting a bad cab driver. I really felt badly for them because they were so close to coming in first last week and being in the running for $2 million. Next week is the double U-turn and hopefully Josh and Brent who are flying under the radar will not be seen as a threat, so no one will put the whammy on them.

Not such an exciting episode this time.

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